By Chic Hollis – Philosophical Musings
The “Zero-Sum” game takes from some humans, borrows from others, and gives the proceeds to those needy humans who don’t contribute. The leaders in charge of the current zero-sum game expect the next generation of humans to stay off the dole and pay off the debt.
It’s very competitive out there in the modern jungle habitat. Ask anyone in the food chain who is dodging a predator. Somehow the elite, who run this volatile economy, have overlooked the message: employment is essential for any citizen who tries to pursue happiness daily despite the increase in distractions, taxes, and inflation that has occurred in the past 60 years of my adult life.
I don’t need to list the distractions, or mention the constant arguing about the necessary tax and fee increases to sustain the entitlement programs, the cost of defense supposedly protecting some undefined American interests overseas, and the steady inflation that everyone on a fixed income is fully aware of and can’t do anything about. Promotion of the win-win game in the U.S. and in the socialistic world has been shelved for years. It’s tiring to be negative. It’s discouraging to observe the flaws in democratic government and the lack of a focus of our leaders on improving the country instead of pandering to some group of deluded adulators who support talk-a-lot and do-little incumbents.
Many Americans are concerned about the impact of habitat destruction on the lives of lesser animals caused by humans. But very few Americans have taken any action to stem the tide of the economic destruction in our industrial workplace. Global competition may be a boon to the under-employed in those countries that have new factories which created new jobs. The US has lost the majority of the clothing and shoe business, the steel fabrication industry, the TV and PC manufacturing activity, and the auto industry. Telephone customer service has moved overseas as well as certain accounting services.
What new employment opportunities are replacing thousands of lost jobs? What kind of training is available to the unemployed? Who pays for that? What entry level wages are being paid to new employees? What specifically has been done on a large scale by anyone to reduce the impact on the folks laid off due to the transfer of jobs overseas? Not all that much!
Any serious win-win solution does not increase consumer credit and encourage consumers to spend more. Honest economists know that. Despite the negligible interest paid on savings accounts, people are going to reduce debt and save something for the next bit of bad news that might affect them. The common man has no confidence that politicians working in D.C. and in our state capitols are going to find a win-win solution which will benefit this country instead of the elite and the rich.
For all the deficit spending in a hopeless effort to sustain the outrageous costs of the entitlement programs already in effect and the pre-emptive wars aimed at regime change, Congress and our state legislatures are allowing our economic habitat to be destroyed industry by industry. Wages are stagnant. Unions are weak. Lobbies are strong. And popular resistance is futile!
The Borg King is under attack, and no one is thinking seriously about what it takes to help America confront the present reality. Give the banks more money at zero interest? Bail out failing industries that are beholden to foreign suppliers or controlled by foreign investors? Act like the any boastful imperialist that has high tech military power but won’t use nuclear arms? Walk softly and bury the big stick? Stay home and do what it takes to stop destroying the economic infrastructure?
The tipping point may have passed for turning around this huge rudderless economic vessel. Empires collapse, some more rapidly than others. However, Americans must unify and form a consensus about how to put people to work in producing goods and services that consumers want and will demand. Green or not, the jobs to be added to our economy must be created based on sound ideas for the long term. The measurement of the effectiveness of our federal and state governments ought to be how well private, not public, employment is encouraged and promoted.
Increased local health care services paid by transfer payments is not the answer. Increased arms sales to other countries obviously is dangerous. Adding manpower to the bureaucracy requires more taxes. Forays into solving other nations’ social, political, and economic problems are always expensive and destructive. But putting Americans back to work and keeping the greedy money-changers, derivative peddlers, and gamblers from becoming more dominant ought to reduce unemployment if not bring back the prosperity that we knew.
We don’t need more talk about creating temporary jobs. (Census takers were a very short term solution that required tax revenue to fund.) We don’t need more illegal immigrants working in jobs that don’t pay a living wage to American youth who might be tempted to work in the fields. We don’t need more health care costs mandated for small business employers to cough up. We don’t need more overtime for regular employees because hiring more staff is too expensive. We don’t need more government regulation and interference in industry and hidden taxes.
At the moment of the economic crisis in September 2008, the Head of the Fed, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the elected officials in the administration all agreed to bail out the big banks, the big gamblers, and the big holders of any obligations backed by home mortgages. They unanimously chose to protect the big creditors and ignore the small debtors induced to buy homes. The crash was inevitable, and it resulted in employee lay-offs and terminations. There was no way to stop the wrecking ball that crushed the economic euphoria in the housing market.
If there is to be a new financial incentive to stimulate hiring, it is imperative to give certain small business owners some financial recognition for hiring new permanent employees. Of course, there is no guarantee that some small government enticement will work. The debt incurred by the federal government hoping to halt the disaster is large and terrifying. The low interest rates dictated by the Fed won’t last forever. All the holders of US obligations will be dumping their US IOUs when interest rates return to normal and the dollar is devaluated.
Jobs are never easy to create. Some private entrepreneur has to gamble that the future response of the customers in a market will cover the cost to expand production and invest in inventory and new plant and equipment. To launch the next win-win game will require a shared optimism that present investors don’t have.
There are fewer opportunities to play the win-win game today since capital has fled this habitat. But it is the only game left to play that might start a local economic recovery. There is no World War II on the horizon to bail out this very deep recession, and very little local industry to gear up and put thousands of unemployed people back to work!